The Bhardwaj lake is a lesser known wonder on the outskirts of Delhi. Till recently, the lake wasn’t on most maps and it was one of those places which couldn’t be found except by those who already knew where it is.

In recent times, the lake and the area around it have become one of the favorite haunts of off-road cyclists and hikers.

Finding the lake

A few days ago, we decided to ride to the Bhardwaj lake. Armed with our GPS devices, we set out on our MTBs. We were quite sure of the way till the road head. Once we left the road at Kant enclave on the Surajkund road, we discovered why it was difficult to find the lake.

The gravel tracks kept going on and on and at several places the track would split up and head in different directions. Multiple times during the ride we ended up taking the wrong fork and reached a dead end. At one point we reached a village where people thought we were a little crazy. Seeing all our riding gear and paraphernalia, I don’t quite blame them.

The Asola forest

The entire Asola wildlife sanctuary is a Kikar forest. Kikar is a thorny bush with small leaves. Typically, they are between 2 and 14 feet tall with majority being in the 5 to 8 feet height range. Perfect for scratching arms, legs and face. These dried thorns on the path are a nightmare for cyclists who are unprepared. Thankfully, we had slime filled tyre tubes which saved us from numerous punctures.

Riding in Asola wildlife sanctuary

Even though the forest trail was filled with thorny branches and we kept going off track, the ride was spectacular. There are lots of turns, rocky bends, bumps and narrow tracks which are a mixture of sand, gravel, pebble and rock surfaces (with kikar branches in your face). Negotiating this track is a great way for a beginner to practice mountain biking. Intermediate and advance riders would enjoy all the twists, turns and challenges this track has to offer. There are a few uphill sections on the track, however, these are not steep and are fun to ride on.

What made our ride even more fun were the thousands of butterflies and birds which we saw during the ride. In addition, we saw rabbits and antelopes (blue bulls). We hear there are other animals in this forest too, but we didn’t chance upon any of them.

Bhardwaj and other lakes in the area

The Bhardwaj lake itself is quite beautiful and we hear it is quite deep too. You can take a swim in the lake and there are several perches where you can dive from. We didn’t try it, but by the looks of it, we will try it on the next ride.

We rode further and discovered another lake about 1.5Kms ahead of the Bhardwaj lake. There we met a few children, from the nearby village, who told us that there are 9 such lakes in the forest. We’re going to ride here again to discover the other lakes in the area.

Preparing for the ride

If you’re planning to ride here, do see the following google map which we made using our GPS. The ride in this map starts from the 2nd lake and ends at the Green park metro station in South Delhi.

Ride essentials

  • Slime filled tyre tubes (or some other puncture protection mechanism)
  • Spare tube + puncture repair kit
  • Plenty of drinking water as you won’t find any water sources during the ride
  • First aid kit. We had several scratches and cuts thanks to the Kikar bushes. We had two falls leading to minor cuts and bruises. A first aid kit will be extremely helpful
  • Some snacks/ dry fruits for energy
  • A bit of money – It has become a kind of tradition on our rides to have Narial paani (Coconut water) towards the end of the ride

View Cycling From Bhardwaj Lake to Green Park metro station in a larger map

Pictures from the ride

Taking a break - asola wildlife sanctuary

Taking a break

Camels and dogs for company - Asola wildlife sanctuary

Camels and dogs for company

Riding back through the Kikar trail - Bhardwaj lake

Riding back through the Kikar trail

Cycling in asola wildlife sanctuary

Speeding on the way back

Kikar trails - Asola wildlife sanctuary

Kikar trails – Asola wildlife sanctuary

Enjoying the ride to Bhardwaj Lake

Enjoying the ride to Bhardwaj Lake

Uphill section - Riding to Bhardwaj lake

Uphill section – Riding to Bhardwaj lake

Beginning of the ride - Bhardwaj lake

Beginning of the off road section

At the Bhardwaj lake

At the Bhardwaj lake

Entry gate of the Asola wildlife sanctuary

Entry gate of the Asola wildlife sanctuary

Through the kikar bushes of Asola forest

Through the kikar bushes of Asola forest

CITM lake close to Bhardwaj lake

CITM lake close to Bhardwaj lake

Hillocks near bhardwaj lake

Hiking down the hillock

cycling to bhardwaj lake

Gaurav and sunny

The route to the Bhardwaj lake

Climbing the hillock

Cycling to Bhardwaj lake

Negotiating the twists and turns

Gravel tracks in asola forest

Sunny riding on gravel tracks